LEDs vs CFLs

I’m an easy going guy. I don’t typically try to correct people. I’m pretty gracious and allow the benefit of the doubt. However, there is something that I need to address, a common error that I cannot let slide. Frequently we hear potential clients state that they have switched their lighting to LEDs when in fact they use compact fluorescents. Known as CFLs, or curly ques, these lights are NOT LEDs. In fact they are significantly inferior to LEDs.

Similarities – Both types are more efficient than the incandescent light bulb, which produced light by “incandescing” or burning a wire. This burning produces a ton of wasted energy in the form of heat. Touch an old bulb that has been on for a while to feel my drift. Not only are LEDs and CFLs more efficient they also last longer than incandescent bulbs, 6,000-40,000 hours compared to 1,000 hours. They share some things in common, however, the LED shines brighter than the CFL.

LED Advantages

  • Zero Mercury – CFL bulbs use mercury vapor. While the amount per bulb is small, added together the bulbs can pose an environmental issue. This is why proper disposal of them has been outlined by the EPA. LEDs are mercury free.
  • Heat Production – While LEDs do indeed produce heat, they don’t get hot enough to cause harm. In contrast CFLs can become very hot in just a few minutes.
  • Cold Temperatures – CFL bulbs perform very poorly low temperatures. LED bulbs excel in the cold.
  • Most Efficient – Advanced LED technology allows them to be produce better light quality with less energy. They will be as bright or brighter than CFL and use 8 watts compared to a CFL’s 23 watts. Add to that a 25,000 hour lifespan that dwarfs a CFL’s 6,000-10,000 hours.